Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Records Fall and so do Gophers

The biggest win in Owls’ history didn’t come easily, but it sure was fun to watch.

Ok, it came in a mostly empty stadium that was decorated for another team. Yes, half the football field was actually a baseball diamond. Granted, the Minnesota Golden Gophers stink this season. But none of that mattered. Only the final score did:

FAU 42, Major Conference Giant 39.

A team with very little history made a whole lot of it on Saturday afternoon. Rusty Smith shattered the single game passing record, surpassing original Owl Jared Allen’s 352 with an astronomical 463 of his own. Smith also threw five touchdowns, another new record. Cortez Gent and Jason Harmon both had over 100 yards receiving, the first time that had ever happened. Tavious Polo tied a team record with three picks, including one that preserved the win. The heart and soul of the team, the defense, forced seven turnovers, yet another record.

Seeing a trend here?

It wasn’t just whom they beat, but how they beat them. The Owls played the best game in their history to pick up this historic win, and they needed every record they broke to do it.

FAU hit harder, ran faster, just seemed to want it more than Minnesota did. They improvised their own version of the spread offense because they knew they could take advantage of the Minnesota defense. And it couldn’t have come in a timelier fashion.

This week, the FAU Board of Trustees votes on whether to finally build a new stadium on campus. This win all but makes that vote a sure thing. The team has done everything everyone has asked of them and they have done it with the bare minimum resources. It would be an embarrassment if the Board doesn’t do its part and mercifully give this team the home it has earned.

Back on the field, the Owls fought beak and claw for every inch. Running back DiIvory Edgecombe knocked off his own helmet plowing into defenders for an extra yard. Fullback Willie Rose didn’t let the fact that two defenders were hanging onto his body stop him from getting into the end zone, even though those defenders latched on 10 yards from the goal line. Lester Jean stretched out to his physical limit for an amazing catch in the fourth quarter. Polo took a big gamble and it paid off as he made the game-saving interception. Smith threw for more yards than any Owl QB before him. It was just another day at the office for this modest crew.

“It’s just instinct,” Rose said.

“It was a routine catch,” Jean said.

“I don’t care if I throw for 10 yards, as long as we win,” Smith said.

After the game, a visibly emotional Coach Howard Schnellenberger stood before the media. No, this win wasn’t as monumental as some of the others in his illustrious career, but it was his finest hour at FAU. “I guess hyperbole is in order,” he said, comparing this game to wins at Miami and Louisville. He compared Smith to Jim Kelly, a Hall of Fame quarterback. Some slight exaggerations perhaps, but this is as big-time as it has ever been at FAU.

“What happens after this will determine if this was really special. But what this win does is certify, like a notary public, that this team can play at this level,” Schnellenberger said.

It was dramatic, emotional, record setting and definitely fun.

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